Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let's Dance!!





You've all heard of a rain dance? Well this, my friends is a sunshine dance!!

It's supposed to rain, nay, POUR on Friday night....all over our Relay for Life. Dammit! I've been waiting all year for this night and I don't want to be rained out!!!

So dance with me. Dance the dance of sunshine. In fact, I don't even need sunshine. Cloudy is just fine. Just NO RAIN!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

One Year Ago

One year ago today my life was perfect. I had my dream job, a fabulous marriage, three perfect children, amazing friends and a bright future. I had it all.

One year ago tomorrow I found the lump that changed my life forever.

Reading my posts from last May until now, I've seen the range of emotion I've gone through. I've seen the fear, the anger, the sadness and even the joy.  There were times I feared I wouldn't be here now, one year later. There were times I feared the worst. And there were times I hoped for the best.

I've learned so much in the last year, about myself and about my friends and family. I've changed a lot and that has changed my relationships. Just as people purge their Facebook friends list, I've purged my life of those who haven't moved forward with me. But I've also found new friends, some in the most unlikely of places.

I've changed in my outlook and how I greet day to day life. I've got no time for superficiality or bullshit. I've got no patience for drama. I live now, in the moment.

I've become selfish. And while on the surface that might not sound like a good quality, in the spirit it's intended, it is.  I am living for what's important to me. My husband. My kids. My family. My friends. ME.  For the first time in my life I'm thinking about what I want and how I can get that.

My Dad died when he was 63. He and my Mom had plans for their retirement that they didn't get to fulfill together. I'm by no means saying my Dad wasted his life, the fact is, the means were not always there for those dreams to be fulfilled but I've taken a lot away from that. I've been given a second chance and I'm not going to waste it waiting for my life to start. It's here. It's now. And if I've got the means to fulfill a dream, for me, for Sean or the kids then what am I waiting for? Life will not wait for me.

I am going to be happy. And if something gets in the way of happy I'm going to toss it to the side. I'm going to be selfish like that. Because the only person responsible for my happiness is me. Cancer may have taken my breast but it can't take my happiness.

One year ago today my life was perfect. I had my dream job, a fabulous marriage, three perfect children, amazing friends and a bright future. I had it all.

And I still do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunshine and Lollipops

Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes right?

I didn't think it was going to be that kind of day, it started off pretty crappy actually and I went into work feeling lousy.

And then I heard a hysterical story about a homophobic coworker who accidentally rented gay porn and my day just when uphill from there

The class was well behaved, quite and productive. I got some mail I've been waiting for. I got the last of my pledges for the Relay for Life handed in (I'm only $18 away from raising $4000 myself)  I also got the quilt done that I've been working on for like 3 months to donate to the team auction at the Relay. AND... I won an interactive globe from the silent auction at the fundraiser dinner we went to last week.

I love days like this when everything comes up roses.

Here's hoping tomorrow is more of the same!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's All Good

I'm feeling great today! It's beautiful, sunshiny and warm out. (okay, well not right now, right now it's warm and dark...it is 11 pm after all)

I went to brunch today with some friends, a much needed day out away from the kids, the house and even Sean. And I was good too! It was a buffet but I didn't go overboard and stuff my face and I limited the carbs I ate.  I also had a good talk about some things I'm dealing with right now and it helped me make some decisions. We'll talk more about that another time.

When I finally made my way home I went right into the backyard to plant flowers and sit my rear on the deck and read my book.

I couldn't have asked for a better Sunday. Actually I do have one complaint, my allergies hit with full force today. Can't win 'em all.

I ordered pizza for the kids (I had salmon and grilled veggies) and went to work getting the kitchen cleaned only to make a horrible discovery. My dishwasher has crapped out. There must be a cracked hose because had a not been in the kitchen after I first started the dishwasher I would have had a might flood.

So I unloaded the dishwasher and hand washed them. It kind of feels like the dark ages.

Sean said, "I guess we'll be dishwasher shopping on Tuesday."

I'm thinking no. My kids are older; old enough to wash their dishes. I've got a sign posted in the kitchen now, it says Wash your dishes and put them on the towel or you will do ALL the dishes for one week. We'll see how long that works for. I'm guessing as long as the note is there, it will work.

I had a note on the milk jug for the longest time telling the kids that if they put the empty milk jug back into the fridge they'd have to do the dishes for a week and it worked. Right up until I took the note off the milk jug. Now the empty jug is in the fridge all the time.

So, I'll just keep the dishes note up all the time.

I'm not interested in forking out $500 + for a new dishwasher. I'd rather save my money for summer vacation. Maybe in September we'll get a new dishwasher.

Tonight I watched the movie 50/50 and I held it together up until the scene where he's going in for surgery. It brought back too many memories for me. Good movie though.

It's been a fabulous weekend and the best part is that there's still one more day!




Low Carb Diet and New Boobs

I've gone up a clothing size. Again.

The sad part is, I can't blame it on the chemo or the meds or anything else....except for my inability to not eat a great big pile of crap all the live long day. 

Remember the many, many times I talked about eating healthier. Well, the funny thing about that is that it doesn't include bags of chips, Oreo cookies or cornbread.  And eating rabbit food is all well and good but if you throw in a bowl of cereal at 10 pm then all that has gone to waste my waist.

But, as many other people do, I have an emotional attachment to food. I love food. I eat when I'm happy. I eat when I'm sad. I eat when I'm depressed, nervous, excited, scared, bored...the list goes on and on.

I'm starting to see that changing my eating habits is much like quitting smoking. I have to learn to do things differently. I have to learn to watch tv at night without a snack (and no, I don't think having a healthy snack is a good alternative because the fact is, I won't make the right choice) I have to learn to eat smaller meals.

I have made some good changes. I eat a lot less red meat. For the most part, I don't eat processed foods. We do most of our cooking from scratch. But I still have my weaknesses and that's a problem.

I don't typically buy into fad diets, or diets at all for that matter, I just don't think they are long term solutions but I'm starting to think that desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, starting yesterday I'm going on a low carb diet. In fact, outside of fibrous carbs (the ones naturally occurring in fruits and veggies, I'm only allowing myself one small serving of carbs a day, and even then it will be whole grains.)  Yesterday, I had three small whole wheat pancakes with a tiny bit of syrup (yeah, I know the syrup was a bad choice but the pancakes were a special thing...we don't normally eat pancakes)

I am going to give this an honest try because the fact that I had to go out and buy new shorts yesterday because my old ones don't fit me anymore is my incentive. And because I have a wedding to go to in August and for reasons I will not indulge, I need to look my absolute BEST!  

I will do this!

I've also decided that I'm going to go for the consultation with the plastic surgeon to see about getting my reconstruction done. I've been procrastinating. I've been saying I'll make it my 40th birthday present to myself but why wait if there is no medical reason to?? I want to feel whole again and this will help me do that.

I've been given a second chance at life, I'm going to grab that bitch by the horns and live it up!



Friday, May 18, 2012

Sheer Genius!

You have to be living under a rock to have not heard of these guys




But in case you have been living under a rock this would be one of their big songs.

                                    

Emily is a gigantic fan. She's got posters wallpapered all over her room She has all the music and videos on her iPod and buys all the teenie bopper magazines so she can read all about them. Yep, we've reached that obsessive teenage crush faze.

One Direction is playing here in a couple of weeks and of course, Emily is dying to go. However, my daughter is still not fully schooled in the art of the concert ticket sale and doesn't bother to tell me she wants to go until the concert has been sold out for months.

She did this same thing when she and Mary wanted to see Selena Gomez and I was able to snag them day-of-the-concert tickets (and they turned out to be fantastic seats) but that concert was in a venue 5 minutes from our house. I'm not trekking the kids to downtown Toronto to get last minute tickets.

Anywho....

Anyone who's been around for any length of time knows that for the most part, bands like this are short lived.  Teenage girls are finicky and tire of these boy bands quickly. And the promoters know this and pump out the new boy bands just as quickly as the girls toss the old ones to the side.

But whoever is making the decisions for this band, One Direction, is a freakin' genius.

Emily came to me the other day excited because there were tickets on sale for a One Direction concert and I really really really needed to go online to buy them for her.

Guess when the concert is........

July 2013.

I'm not kidding.  Over one year from now.  I'm confident that these young men, while nice for 13 year old girls to look at and the current  "greatest singers EVER!"  probably won't be on the map in July 2013.

But this concert....two nights....at an extremely large venue.....sold out.

And I'm willing to bet that of the 60,000 or so tickets sold for the two nights....by July 2013 a good half of those girls are going to be saying "One Direction? They are so YESTERDAY!!!"

And the guys from One Direction and their manager, promoter and everyone else making a buck off of them are all saying, "Bahahahaha suckers! We might be so yesterday but we've already got your money and spent it!"  

The brilliance in all of this is that they've tapped in the obsessive, hormonal, teenage girl fan base and sold out two concerts (starting ticket price - $45) now, while they're still hot to their obsessive, hormonal, teenage girl fan base, that they won't be doing for over a year. And that's only the two concerts in Toronto. This is a whole tour.

Honestly, their promoter/manager or whoever makes these decisions has truly earned his money.  Thankfully not from me.

Genius.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Jealousy and Self Loathing

I've always tried to take the attitude that I should be grateful for the way my life is going because it could be a whole lot worse. There are a lot of people who have it a whole lot worse than I do.

And yet, I find ever now and again I get this pang of jealousy, envy, of other people.

But not for what you might think.

Sure, I'm envious of anyone who has two breasts and no cancer.

But I find I'm envious of people who have an 'easier' cancer. (not to say cancer is easy for anyone by any means)  I'm envious of people who got to keep their breasts. I'm envious of people who handled treatment better than I did. I'm envious of people whose cancer was only stage 1 or 2.

And as I type that I know how completely asinine it is. And I'm sure there are people out there who might be envious of me. Maybe they've lost both breasts. Maybe they've got a stage 4 cancer. Maybe their outlook isn't as good as mine.

I know I have no right to feel envious or jealous of anyone else. I know how lucky I am. I'm having trouble sorting these feelings out.

I'm in a weird place right now. I feel physically good, most of the time. I feel mentally good most of the time. And yet I hate myself.

I blame myself for my cancer. I don't eat right. I didn't get enough exercise. I drank too much.

I vowed to make changes but have I? I eat salad for lunch most days but then tonight, I came home and ate 1/4 of a bag of chips and 2 Oreo cookies. How is that healthy?

I'm self loathing. I'm in a funk. I don't like it. But I don't know how to change it. I don't have the willpower to eat right and each time I see the scale creep up higher I feel worse about myself and eat to cheer myself up. It's a horrible, vicious cycle.

And yet, I know, it could be so much worse.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Green Thumb

Have I ever mentioned that I can't grow a plant to save my life? I have one plant, some type of greenery that's been alive for years, despite rarely being watered and often forgotten. But besides that I kill everything I try to grow.  Probably because I rarely water them and often forget them.

Connor and I planted a garden a few weeks ago. We planted tomatoes, carrots, peas, beans, lettuce, and watermelon. The peas and carrots are starting to grow. Nothing else yet. Of course, it might be because we planted them in a patch of dirt in the backyard without adding in any potting soil. I don't have the heart to rip it all out and start again because of the few little seeds that are growing.

Today I bought 3 flats of flowers. I don't even know what most of them are called, except for the marigolds and petunias. My mom had 'planted' artificial flowers in the planters outside so I replaced them all with the real ones.

This is the first time I've ever, voluntarily, planted flowers.

I enjoyed it. I just hope they all live, grow and multiply.  I hope the yard will look nice.

And now, I need an Advil because holy crap, my joints are killing me!

I planted petunias in my Dad's planter. It's right beside the pond. My Dad's pond. I noticed our froggies are out again from their winter sleep. We have 5 that I can tell, possibly more though. But it looks like two adults and three younger ones. I've named the two adults George and Gracie. The kids aren't named yet. I got some great pictures today of one of the adult ones.



Now I'm going to get to work on the luminaries for the Relay. We bought a heart. That's 25 luminaries that we can dedicate to whoever we want. They will put them in the centre of the track, shaped into a heart with a sign with our team name on it in the middle. It will look really nice.


It's a beautiful sunshiny day here.

Happy Saturday.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yippee!

Yes, I said yippee!

See the tracker on the side there. ---------------------------->

We're only $104away from reaching our $5000 goal. It's so close I can taste the bronze fundraiser award sign they will hang on our campsite. 

Okay, I'm excited about potentially being a bronze fundraising team but let's face it, this last year has given me a first hand look at all the Canadian Cancer Society does for patients and their families.

From the volunteers who give us cookies and juice during chemo to tireless drivers shuttling patients back and forth the appointments and treatments. The Canadian Cancer Society supports research initiatives and educates the public on cancer prevention.

The Canadian Cancer Society was there for me when I needed them most and now I will return the favour.

So I implore my readers - both in Canada and abroad (your money is good too!)

Please think about making a donation today. Any little bit helps. Let's blow that $5000 goal out of the water!!

You can donate to our team by clicking this link

Thanks!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Inspiration

I see a lot of these posted on Facebook and the ones I really like; the ones that speak to me, I save. 

I thought I'd share them with you. I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately, about my life, about who I am and what I want for my family and my life. I'll talk about that more later....but for now, enjoy.











Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wow.

I watched this video on a blog I follow. It was so beautiful, bittersweet, heartwarming and sad. It's nice to see that there are people out there who love each other like this.

Watch at your own risk...with lots of tissue.